The Space Opera Renaissance: Allen Steele

201107112150.jpg Alan Steele has won a couple of Hugo awards for some of his short stories. His books are all science fiction and the most famous ones focus on his Coyote universe. He has a degree as a journalist and serves as a board member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s of America. Other than that I don’t really know anything about him. I’ve heard good things about the Coyote books, I’ve seen them but they never caught my interest. I admit that now that I’m getting into the part of this book where most of the authors are contemporary I know very little about them. I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading autobiographies and histories about the pioneers of the science fiction genre but I have very little knowledge about current authors – unless they write fantasy.

“The Death of Captain Future” is probably the best story in this book so far, but it wasn’t my favorite. This is one of Alan Steele’s stories that won a Hugo award and I think it is probably deserving of that award. It tells a brilliant story and is perfectly crafted and well written. It is meant as homage to the stories of Edmond Hamilton who wrote most of the Captain Future stories back in the early part of the twentieth century. It works perfectly for that. It pays perfect tribute to Captain Future, Edmond Hamilton and the early, campy, unreadably unreal pulp science fiction of that era. And it does it all without becoming campy and unreal itself. It even functions as a story on it’s own.

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